Employees at three Washington universities used state-issued credit cards in violation of Washington policy, charging $226,583 worth of alcohol, gifts and other items to the cards, according to a report by the state auditor’s office.
The report from the office of State Auditor Troy Kelley was part of a review of the way credit cards are used at the three largest public four-year universities in Washington — the University of Washington, Washington State University and Western Washington University. The audit report found purchases that were not supposed to be charged to state-issued credit cards at all three schools, with the largest amount — $197,265 — at the UW. The UW is also the largest user of state credit cards among the six four-year public schools in Washington.
In a letter responding to the report, UW officials said the purchases were all made for allowable uses, and the only thing in dispute is that they were made with state-issued credit cards.
The UW receives gifts from donors that “can be used to support the University without regard to certain state rules,” the UW wrote. For example, the university uses donor funds to buy alcohol for fundraising events.
According to the report, the three universities used credit cards to purchase more than $164 million in goods and services in the 2012 fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2012. Most of the purchases followed state policy, the auditor’s office found.More